The guilt or innocence of Jussie Smollett is something that a jury will have to soon decide, but the repercussions from the public fallout are something that may have a negative impact on Empire. The actor has starred as Jamal Lyons on the series for five seasons, but his new court battle could derail the hit show.
According to TMZ, there are those affiliated with the show’s production—both cast and crew—who are nervous about what lies in store for Empire‘s future. The publication states that there are some who have been working on the show for years who believe that Smollett’s high-profile attack drama may be a cause for cancelation. Fueling those rumors is the fact that FOX has yet to renew the show for a second season.
Now, the delay in renewal news isn’t something that the network hasn’t done before. For the first four seasons, FOX announced an Empire comeback in the month of January, five months ahead of the season finales. However, last year they waited until May when season four of the show aired its final episode. Smollett’s character of “Jamal” has been written out of the final episodes of this season, but Lee Daniels hasn’t stated whether or not the character will make a return. Sources have reportedly said Jamal will be “out of the country.” Daniels also may be waiting to hear if any of the Lyons will be returning to the small screen before making any decisions.
Meanwhile, Gloria Schmidt, the attorney to Ola and Abel Osundairo, the brothers accused of helping Smollett stage an attack against him, visited Good Morning America to say that her clients were indeed paid by Smollett for fitness training. However, they helped the actor create a fake attack as a favor. “My clients were just taken advantage of by someone they trusted,” Schmidt said on GMA. “This was someone who the brothers thought could help their career. . . . Someone they had trusted to consider their best interest.”